Jardin Majorelle: Marrakesh

I’m in my hotel room in Seville listening to the bells ring all around me but I wanted to write a quick post about a garden we visited in Marrakesh.  This little post is for my friend Janice who loves plants and flowers and all things green more than anyone I know (well, with the exception of my Grandmother).

Jardin Majorelle is a peaceful and lovely place outside the Old City in Marrakesh.  Being crazy New Yorkers, we ignored the advice of our riad manager who recommended taking a taxi and we walked 30 minutes or so navigating through dusty roads of the city get there.  We had to ask for directions a few times along the way but I actually liked the walk very much.  The loud, dusty, and congested streets of Marrakesh made the quiet and gentle existence of the garden that  much more pronounced.

The main house through a field of cacti

Originally constructed by a French artist named Jacques Majorelle in 1924 it was purchased by Yves SaintLaurent and Pierre Berge in 1980.  They restored the garden and the main residence to what it is today.  The brilliant blue hue of the house stands out so vividly against all the greenery that surrounds it that at first it was a bit shocking to me.  But you quickly see the beauty of the colors all around, and the sheer number and types of cacti left me doubting whether I was in Morocco or somewhere else altogether different.  There was also a large bamboo “forest” as well as a fountain and a small pond where bright orange koi fish swam.  A tiny but beautifully stocked gift store and a room where Yves Saint Laurent’s collection of “love” posters were housed rounded out the compound.  You can also walk around to an austere memorial for Yves Saint Laurent towards the end of a bamboo path.

It was a lovely and by far the most unexpected way to spend a morning in Marrakesh.  From there, you can walk about 20 minutes directly into the New City and have yourself a wonderful Moroccan lunch either at Al Fassia (which is what we did) or at Cafe du Livre (we took our afternoon break there with a bottle of Moroccan rose).  If you ever find yourself in Marrakesh, I would highly recommend a stroll in Jardin de Majorelle or what I kept calling Yves Saint Laurent’s garden.

Yves Saint Laurent's "love" gallery

An African oasis

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